I'm having what, for me, is a typical problem. I downloaded

gpsim-0.21.11.tar.gz gtk+extra-2.1.1.tar.gz
libscigraphica-2.1.1.tar.gz sdcc-src-2.6.0.tar.gz

in the hope that they would help me learn to work with PICs (I don't have
one. I'm just trying to see whether I can deal with the software.) I untarred
gpsim-0.21.11.tar.gz and executed ./configure and it aborted with complaints
about not being able to find pkg-config. I had no trouble with
gputils-0.10.tar.gz but gtk+extra-2.1.1.tar.gz also complained about not
being able to find pkg-config. Fortunately, unlike gpsim's configure, it
also told me where on the net to get pkg-config, so I downloaded:


untarred it, executed configure and make with no difficulty. I should mention
that I'm doing all this in my own user account on my PC, since I don't like
to mess with system directories if it isn't absolutely necessary and ditto
for doing things as root.

The error message from gtk+extra-2.1.1's configure also told me some
environment variables that needed to be set. In particular, it needed to
know PKG_CONFIG and PKG_CONFIG_PATH. I set the former to the full path of
the script pkg-config in the directory where I had made it and the latter
to that directory. I ran ./configure again and now it complained about not
being able to find gtk+2.0 and indicated that I needed to add it to
PKG_CONFIG_PATH, so I added the directory in which I was trying to configure
gtk+extra-2.1.1 to PKG_CONFIG_PATH, but it made no difference.

In the hope that some of these positive experiences might help with gpsim,
I returned to its directory and executed ./configure but the existence
of pkg-config and the setting of the environment variables did nothing
to enable configure to run to completion.

When configure works, it is a very good thing. When it doesn't work, it is
a very inscrutable thing, at least for me. I think it is time that I learned
something about how to make sense of configure scripts so that I can gain some
insight into why they fail and how to keep them from failing. If you can
tell me what I need to do to learn to do this, please let me know.
Allan Adler <ara@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
* Disclaimer: I am a guest and *not* a member of the MIT CSAIL. My actions and
* comments do not reflect in any way on MIT. Also, I am nowhere near Boston.